Voting Age for Primary Elections


Photograph of two young people with "I Voted" stickers smiling

17-Year-Olds and Primary Elections

Although the federal voting age is 18, a third of the states allow those who are 17 but will be 18 by the general election to vote in primaries. Other states may do this as an administrative practice as well. States may take this action to encourage voter participation among young people, or because primaries can be seen as part of the general election process.

Some states may allow 17-year-olds to vote in presidential primaries or caucuses as well. These states are not included on this webpage.

For information on states that permit 16- and 17-year-olds to register to vote, see Preregistration for Young Voters.

States that Allow Voting for People Under the Age of 18


Article XXXI, Articles of Amendment to the Constitution 2008
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. §1-2-101* 2019
Delaware Del. Code Ann. tit. 15, §1701, 3110 2010
District of Columbia D.C. Code Ann. §1-1001.07 2009
Illinois Ill. Rev. Stat. §5/3-6 2013
Indiana Ind. Code §3-7-13-1 1995
Iowa IA Code § 48A.5 2017
Kentucky Ky. Rev. Stat. §116.055 2010
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, §111-A 2004

Md. Ann. Code art. 3, §102(a)(2)

Mississippi Miss. Code Ann. §23-15-11 1997

Neb. Rev. Stat. §32-110

New Mexico N.M. Stat. Ann. §1-4-2 2016
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. §163A-843 2016
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §3503.011 1981
South Carolina S.C. Code Ann. §7-5-180 1997
Utah Utah Code Ann. §20A-2-101 2018
Vermont Const. Ch. II, §42 2010
Virginia Va. Code §24.2-403   2004
West Virginia W. Va. Code §3-2-2 2013

*The passage of Amendment 76 in 2020 may prohibit 17-year-olds from voting in primaries, though a definitive answer has not yet been reached.

Additional Resources